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Chicago - Referat


My Report will be about the things and facts of Chicago, which most don’t know yet.

„Think Big!“
That is the life slogan of Chicago. The heart of the "most American city" strikes for large culture, large business, large sport teams and large dreams. McDonald’s, the Cornflakes king Kelloggs and automobile giants like Ford and General motors became here largely.

Chicago is now the third biggest City in the USA. 2,78 Mio. Inhabitants and many universities contribute to this. Chicago has 3 Airports. O’Hare, Midway (Domestic flights) and Meighs Field (small private and business airplanes). The O’Hare International Airport remains the commercial aviation capital of the world, handing more passengers and aircraft operations than any other airport. It has held this position for the past 30 years and continues to get busier, serving approximately 175,000 travelers each day. O’Hare plays a vital role not only in the country’s transportation scheme, but also in the local and regional economy. Every 30 seconds airplanes starts or landing in O’Hare.

The Elevated Train
Chicago has an extensive public transportation network. It is quite easy to get around this city. Most transit lines run 24 hours a day and are very affordable. Among the different ways to get around is the elevated train. The “El” as it is affectionately known, is of great service to both tourists and local alike. It is run, along with a network of buses, by the Chicago transit Authority. These elevated trains or subways not only whisk people from place to place and as far as the suburbs, but the tracks also bound the square mile that consists of Chicago’s historic business district. This district is called “The Loop” due to the surrounding elevated train system.

Chicago has many famous sports. Football, Ice-hockey, Basketball and Baseball. The Basketball team “Chicago Bulls” knows everyone. The Football team, the “Chicago Bears” has been based at Soldier Field since 1924. The Baseball team, the “Chicago white sox” call Comiskey Park home, but the Wrigley field is one of the oldest baseball parks in the country. So Wrigley Filed, full of history, is also the site of Babe Ruth’s famous “called shot” home run, on October 1, 1932. The “Chicago Blackhawks”, members of the national Hockey League since1926, moved from Chicago Stadium to the United Center in 1994 as did the ever-popular Chicago Bulls National Basketball Association team.

„The windy City“
Chicago has been known as „The windy City“ for more than a century now, but not because of its potential for a breeze. It is, in fact, no windier than any other city. The phrase was fabricated by New York Sun editor Charles Dana to describe Chicago’s politicians, whom he considered to be long-winded. Dana attributed the politicians’ lengthy speeches, always at the perfect time and place, as the reason Chicago beat out New York in the competition for the 1892 honor of hosting the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. He wrote to his fellow New Yorkers that no one should listen to „the nonsensical claims of the windy city.“ But Chicago wasn’t always home to long-winded politicians. The Illinois Indians lived here, on the shores of Lake Michigan – the area was known to them as „Chicaugou.“ The first white men to find the spot hat is now Chicago were French Jesuit missionary Pere Marquette and French Canadian explorer Louis Joilliet. They arrived in the midst of a December snow storm in 1674. It was another early visitor to these parts, however, that named the city. Rene Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, named the city borrowing the Indian name „Chicaugou,“ which means great or powerful.

It was fate that Chicago would some day be great and powerful – but it took time. Jolliet wrote in his report to the Quebec Government, “It would only be necessary to make a canal by cutting through but half a league of prairie to pass from the foot of the lake of the Illinois to the river St. Louis which falls into the Mississippi.” His theory was proven, but not until much later on. A permanent settlement was established by about 1780, over 100 years after Marquette and Jolliet arrived. Then Fort Dearborn, a small army outpost, was built in 1804, near the banks of the Chicago River. Chicago began to prosper – work on the canal that Jolliet had imagined was begun, there was already a ten-mile railroad, a brewery and several taverns. Chicago became an official city on March 4, 1837. The city was full of immigrants and there was plenty to do, including work on the canal that, in the end, took 12 years to complete. By the time the canal opened there was more to do thanks to Cyrus Hall McCormick. He had produced 1,500 machines to harvest wheat and needed hundreds of people to work in his factory which put Chicago on the map as a manufacturing center. Meanwhile, the canal made Chicago home to the fastest growing port in the country.

Had it not been for an 1852 Drainage Commission, The windy city may have been known as “the muddy city.” The early structures in Chicago were built right on top of the swampy ground, which was only a few feet above the level of the lake. No one had a cellar and the city had no sewers – it was a very muddy situation all around. It was in 1855 and 1856 that Chicago’s buildings were jacked up so a foundation could be built under them – all without interrupting the occupants of the buildings. By 1858 Chicago was successful in raising itself out of the wet and mud.
Over 100 years later, in 1900, the city experienced another strange shift due to their waters. With the sewers draining either directly into Lake Michigan or into the river, which flowed into the lake, Chicago’s population was sick and dying due to polluted water. The situation, which involved a large number of deaths from cholera and typhoid, reached a state of emergency. It was decided, in 1887, that the Chicago River would have to be reversed. After much work, this brave engineering feat was accomplished and the river flows backward today.

“The Great Fire”
One of the many famous stories that Chicago has brought us is the story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. No one knows for sure how the fire was started at the O’Leary cottage at 137 DeKoven Street on the city’s west side. Some say it was the cow in the barn, that kicked over an oil lamp. The devastating blaze began on Sunday, October 8, 1871 around 9 p.m. Although rain helped to douse the flames, over 24 hours later 300 people were dead, 90,000 were homeless and the property damage was in the $200 million range. It was then that The Chicago Tribune issued the challenge, “Let the watchword henceforth be, Chicago shall rise again.” It did rise again – and not without the help of internationally acclaimed architects. These late 19th-century architects, along with many engineers, brilliantly overcame the obstacles of rebuilding a city on what had originally been swampland. The structural innovations included steel beams, concrete rafts and iron cages. By 1875 there was little evidence of the devastating fire.

Chicago is a city of firsts, with the first ferris wheel, the first stainless steel building, and the first bifocal contact lens, caramel chocolate turtles and Cracker Jacks. Chicago was also home to the firsts woman to win the Nobel Prize for peace. Jane Addams, founder of the Hull House which opened in 1889 to provide aid to Chicago immigrants, was recognized in 1931. The Hull House became a national historic landmark in June of 1967. Another great, and somehow not surprising, first for Chicago was the construction of the world’s first skyscraper. The Home Insurance Building was erected at the northeast corner of La Salle and Adams streets. It is no longer standing today, and even if it were it would not compare to the skyscrapers of today. But in its time, with nine stories and one basement, completed in 1885, plus an additional two stories added on six years later, it was an amazing architectural feat. Inventions like Roller skates (1884) or Zippers (1886) traveled from here around the world.
There are many great architectural feats, historical stories and beautiful sights to discover in Chicago. This city has much to offer from its past and present – it’s a city of beauty, charm, integrity and character.

The Towers::

One of the famous towers in Chicago is the WRIGLEY BUILDING.
This building, which graces the west side of the river on Michigan Avenue, is one of the most distinguished buildings in Chicago. It was constructed as a home to the famous Wrigley Chewing Gum Empire. Interestingly, William Wrigley, the chewing gum magnate, wished to have the building designed in a strange geometry to fit in with the river bank. His wish became a reality since the building seems, to anyone on Michigan Avenue south of the river, as if it’s standing in the middle of the street. Both towers of the building although four-sided, do not have square or rectangular floor plans. Instead, each corner is different from the others, with not a 90 degree angle among any of them.
The structures, built three years apart, were based upon the Geralda tower of Madrid’s Escorial. The white terra cotta exterior and enormous clock on the tower make the Wrigley building a charming sight.

Another tower is the SEARS TOWER.
This giant definitely dominates Chicago’s skyline. With its 110 stories, it is the tallest building in the world at 1,454 feet. The tower, which took three years to construct and was completed in 1973, is made of 76,000 tons of steel, weights 222,500 tons and is grounded to bedrock by 114 rock caisson supports. The 16,000 bronze-tinted windows are washed eight times each year by automatic washing machines.

Although not the world’s tallest, this structure is no slouch – it’s, in fact, the world’s fifth tallest. At 1,127 feet (not including the TV antennas) the John Hancock Building is known for its distinctive X-frame structure with crisscross braces. These crosses support the 100-story building in high winds and also serve as a decorative element.

The WATER TOWER is one of the two buildings, which survived the Great Fire.

There are many more Towers and sights in Chicago, like the Lincoln Park & Lincoln Zoo, Chinatown, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, North Pier, navy pier, Buckingham fountain, Art institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry and The Michigan Avenue.

That’s it.

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